Archives for March 2013

The Frightening Trend toward Genetically Modified Foods

I am deeply disturbed by the trend toward genetically modified foods or GMOs.

gmo-genetically-modified-organism_50290d5e92a11

We have no idea what the long term effects of genetically modified organisms will do to our bodies, to the food supply and to the planet.  But we do know that many over 40 countries greatly restrict and or ban genetically modified foods, including:

  • Germany                                                                                
  • The United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Greece                                           
  • France
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Algeria
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • China
  • The Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Brazil
  • Paraguay

And yet, in the United States, not only do we allow GMO foods into our food supply; we don’t even require that the foods be labeled as such.  

The imagescommercial food industry spend billions to defeat a law requiring GMO labeling in California.

 Perhaps we should be aware of these companies as we make our purchase decisions!

Monsanto, the food industry and the FDA (in many ways, one in the same) insist that genetically modified foods are harmless and there is no need to let us know if what we are eating is genetically modified.  Monsanto’s website states that “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans.”

WHAT???  Let’s use some common sense,

1)      There has been little to no research as GMOs haven’t been around long enough to study the long term effects.

2)      If we genetically modify a crop to resist insects, we are introducing a foreign insecticide into the plant…how will this change the chemical makeup of the plant?  How will that change the environment?

3)      We are tampering with Mother Nature, that can’t be good!

May studies a have implicated genetically modified foods in a wide variety of health problems, including accelerated aging, immune dysfunction, insulin disorders, organ damage and reproductive disruption.  Read more here
and here

Jeffrey Smith, in his book Genetic Roulette; The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods points out that Americans get sick more often than Europeans or people from any other industrialized nation.

He states that since the mid-1990s, the number of Americans suffering from at least three chronic illnesses nearly doubled. Life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has increased. Illnesses “such as Autism, Type 2 Diabetes, Celiac Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease which were once rare are now common, with some approaching epidemic levels. He points out

  •  Autism now affects one in 88 children, compared to one in 25,000 in the mid-1970s
  • Type 2 diabetes rates in the U.S. increased by 176 percent between 1980 and 2010
  • Celiac disease is four times more common now than 60 years ago
  • Alzheimer’s disease is rising at alarming rates. It’s estimated that 5.4 million Americans (one in eight older Americans) now has Alzheimer’s disease, and nearly half of those age 85 and older have it; AD rates have doubled since 1980, and
  • New infectious diseases are increasing in number

He links this trend to genetically modified foods.  Read more here .

More bad news – nearly all processed food contains Genetically Modified Organisms. Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that between 75% and 80% of all processed foods available on grocery store shelves contain GMOs.

And the FDA is about to approve a genetically engineered salmon for sale to the 1109-frankenfishUS Consumers.  This fish has been engineered to mature in about half the time as natural salmon.  Luckily “retailers are beginning get on the side of protecting the consumer.  Some food retailers including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi supermarket chains have decided not to sell the “frankenfish”.  Unfortunately some of the largest grocery chains are not participating in the ban.

But all is not grim.  Recently Whole Foods also announced that they will require by 2018 all foods they sell to be labeled to indicate whether they contain GMOs.

nongmo-logoWhat can we do in the mean time?  Look for the Non-GMO label.

The No-GMO project is made up of a collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, food processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers.  They developed the independent third party Non-GMO verification program, and this seal ensures that food production follows best practices for avoiding GMOs.

Buying organic also ensures that the food doesn’t contain genetically modified usdaorganicingredients.

By law, organic products must be created only with non-GMO ingredients.

So consumers can look for this seal to ensure that their foods are organic.

Veganville

A little levity to start the week!

 

A Great Pyramid Workout

It felt good to get back into the gym today!  I was inspired by a blog post I came across. I saw this great pyramid workout on Trim Down, Tighten Up.   The graphic really gets the point across so I’m borrowing it to show you here.

30-minute-pyramid-run I gave it a try on the treadmill tonight.  Wow it was tough!

The paces were good for me, as I train at about a 9 min/mile pace,  but if this doesn’t work for you, I would recommend doing the 3 minute set at a your tempo pace or about 1 minute per mile faster than your training pace.

Another modification I might suggest is after the pinnacle of 1 min at 8 mph, go back to the beginning run 5 min at 6 mph and work back up.  This allows for a bit of recovery time between sets.